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The Great Commandment
Good Questions by Josh Hunt
These Lessons Have Groups Talking

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Matthew 22:36 - 40 (1)


  • Let's each share our name and one rule (commandment) our parents had for us growing up.
  • How many of the 10 Commandments can you remember? Let's work on it together. Here is the rule: no on is allowed to share more than one. (2)


  1. In this passage Jesus puts a star by one of the commands to say, "This one is most important." Which one of the ten commandments is it?
  2. What was the occasion for Jesus offering this important teaching? (3)
  3. The verse says this was a test. What is the test? What were they hoping to catch Jesus saying? (4)
  4. Let's think about these two commands. Is it possible to break any of the other commands if you truly keep these two? Let's think of each of the 10 Commandments. Can you break them if you keep these?
  5. Why do you think loving God comes before loving people?
  6. Do you think the world sees us a substantially more loving than they are? Do you think they see this as a house of love? (5)
  7. Who is your neighbor?
  8. What does it mean, "All of the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments"?
  9. Is love an emotion?
  10. Can you have love without emotion? (6)
  11. What part does contract or commitment or resolve or responsibility have in love?
  12. Is contract and commitment and resolve and responsibility without emotion enough?
  13. What part does emotion play in love?
  14. How important is the communication of love? In other words, what value is it for a father to love his son if the son never knows it?
  15. How is love communicated? Think of as many ways as you can. (7)
  16. What is the relationship between loving God and the worship of God? Are they exactly the same? How do the concepts overlap? How are they different?
  17. How does it benefit you to become a person who loves and communicates love? (8)
  18. What do we miss out on if we are successful in every way in love, but do not have love? (9)
  19. What does love cost you?
  20. Do the costs out weigh the benefits? How so?
  21. What hinders us from being more loving?
  22. Let's communicate our love to God as we close in prayer together. Are there things we want to remember before the Lord?

1. Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. [35] One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: [36] "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

[37] Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' [40] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:34-40 [NIV]

2. If the group is small you might want to make a rule that no one can share more than two. Don't embarrass anyone by getting down to one or two people who can't remember any.

3. It is interesting to note that we might not ever have had this teaching (and many others) had it not been for the pestering of Jesus' enemies.

4. This was probably a hotly debated issue in the day and the Pharisees wished to invite Jesus to the dance. We struggle to obey the law so seek to simplify the task by reducing the list to the really important stuff. Jesus, of course, said in another place to be perfect. In this sense, all of the law is important. Still, Jesus played along.

5. In many cases it is a problem of communication. I would say that most Christians are significantly more loving than the world. This difference is not always seen. Jesus told us to "let our lights shine before men."

6. The great lie of the church in this generation is the belief that God wants us to believe right and behave right but he doesn't care how we feel. He does. Love includes an emotion.

7. Saying the words, "I love you" (or similar words), gift giving, physical touch, serving, talking, and providing opportunities are a few.

8. In the long run, people do what they believe to be in their best interest to do.

9. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. [2] If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. [3] If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor. 13:1-3 [NIV]




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